When it comes to viewing ourselves, I think it’s correct to say that we could probably list out more negative attributes than positives. In class today, we were talking about cognitive distortions, and I must admit, that I myself, am guilty of using all of those listed at one point in time. For instance, the catastrophizing, the blaming, the mind reading, the negative filtering, and the list goes on and on. One exercise which we then had to do was to think of a SMART goal for ourselves regarding these cognitive distortions. It could either be “To lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks” or “to stop being a perfectionist” etc.

For me though, I think a problem that I’ve always faced is that I might not be competent enough. And this applies to everything I do… in placements, at school, drawing, playing the piano… to even doubting the way I do things like cutting vegetables. My underlying assumption is always “oh I’m not smart enough to do that” or “I don’t have the skills to do that” and when placed in a new situation, I’m always hesitant and think to myself “Man… I can’t do this. I’m probably doing this wrong.” I would therefore always need reassurance and ask “is this how you want it cut?” or “is this how I draw it?”. And I’m bad at deflecting positive statements about myself with “oh, anyone can do that” or “That was just a fluke”. It’s much easier to say positive things to people than for me to say that to myself and believe it…

So my SMART goal? To make a list of achievements and accomplishments that I have made by the next 5 weeks.

How about you? What are your cognitive distortions that you can’t seem to get yourself out of?